superFUTURES is a research-led design studio, our staff and students specialise in speculative spatial design - this year our attention has been directed towards ‘other ways of being’.
“Speculative spatial design uses design as a tool to identify and debate emerging transitions in humanity and society and their relationship to space; specifically its potential near future implications on daily inhabitation, spatial requirements and emerging programmes of use.”
This year we have collaborated with the Charleston Trust to imagine society differently in the Sussex museum home of the Bloomsbury Group - artists and intellectuals who famously lived in squares, painted in circles and loved in triangles. Our students have generated 39 speculative near futures for the site inspired by its historic liberal context and driven by social signals of change regarding genders and identities, relationships and interaction, pleasure and entertainment.
We combine Futures Literacy with design criticality and action, to help us prepare today for the uncertainties of tomorrow. We are concerned with thinking beyond the world as it is - to consider the world as it might be - we are embedded in the plural possibilities of this transformation, not in its prediction. Students learn how to use futures and foresight methods such as scenario planning, speculative design, storytelling and world-building techniques to speculate how these may influence habitats and explore emerging programmes of use.
Teaching Team: Gem Barton (lead), Pierre Shaw, Amelia Jane Hankin, Pascal Anson & Owain Carauna-Davies.
Guests and collaborators:
Charleston Trust, Andre McQueen, Riya Patel, J Paul Neeley (Neeley Worldwide), Tobias Revell (Arup Design Futures), Conner Eastwood (PwC Futures), Finn Strivens (Futurall), Alba Imeri (Dive Without Fear)
Image: Cleo Zhang / Rental Elysium / 2053